Madison- College is all about learning, and for the Wisconsin men's basketball team that experience will include a little studying abroad this summer. The Badgers will visit New Zealand and Australia from Aug. 12-24 as part of a 12-day, 5-game tour down under.
College basketball teams are allowed to travel internationally during the summer once every four years, and for Wisconsin the 2017 trip marks the team's first since touring Canada in 2013.
That season, the Badgers were faced with replacing most of their starting lineup and breaking in a host of inexperienced players like Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig. The Canadian tour served as a springboard for the team's historic run to the 2014 Final Four seven months later.
This season, Wisconsin is in a similar position as it looks to replace four starters from a year ago and integrate six newcomers to the active roster.
"With such an influx of newcomers on the roster this year, this is really an ideal time for a trip like this," head coach Greg Gard said. "The experience we'll gain is invaluable. The extra practices and travel experiences can expedite team bonding and chemistry and then obviously the games will give our guys a great chance to get their feet wet."
WISCONSIN'S INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE
Aug. 15 - vs. New Zealand Breakers
Aug. 17 - vs. Tauranga City Basketball
Aug. 19 - vs. Hawthorne
Aug. 20 - vs. Melbourne United
Aug. 22 - vs. Sydney Kings